Chesapeake Conference churches added 545 new members in 2022 through baptism or profession of faith.
“It was a great excuse to have the doors open and connect with people.”
Patrons to the Urban Life Center in Baltimore enjoyed live music, poetry readings, and fresh juices during a special Valentine’s Day-themed evening on Feb. 12.
The purpose of the Saturday night event held outside regular business hours was to provide another opportunity to reach the Urban Life Center’s goal of connecting with the people of Baltimore.
The Urban Life Center, which opened to the public last summer, features an innovative “juice bar” where patrons can enjoy healthy juice combinations while learning more about health in a relaxed atmosphere designed for making friends. The center results from a strategic partnership between the Ellicott City (Md.) and Baltimore-White Marsh churches and aims to build relationships and serve the community as a bridge to presenting the Gospel message.
“There tends to be a lot happening downtown on Saturday nights with people just walking the streets, eating out, and whatever. We wanted to give those people something to come into so that they can try what we have, and we can mingle and connect with them,” says John Rengifo, Ellicott City church lead pastor.
The Valentine-themed evening featured live music performed by Victor Cabido and Andre Arrais, worship and outreach pastor of the New Hope (Fulton, Md.) church. In addition to music, patrons enjoyed fresh juices, chocolate-covered strawberries, and the opportunity to read or recite poetry to a loved one.
The center previously hosted a Christmas-themed evening on a Saturday night in December, and the leadership team plans to hold additional events to engage the community outside regular business hours in the near future.
“The place was buzzing with energy, and it was all smiles in the room,” Rengifo says. “It was a great excuse to have the doors open and connect with people.”